And I Can Cook, Too

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007

AustWHERElia?

I awoke to another day that promised to be in the low 40’s. In Hawaii, that’s 110 in the shade. Not quite eager to spend another afternoon marching through Rundle Mall, I decided to visit Adelaide’s world famous farmers market, the Central Market. I carefully consulted the map, and promptly marched off without it. And found the market with no trouble what so ever. Haha Kim! And found that the market is closed on Sundays. Where the hell did I put my Lonely Planet? It was back to the hostel to put another dollar into their network and devise another plan. A few moments later I was ready to go. A quick search of the University’s website proved that the orientation schedule was nowhere to be found. No problem! I would walk to the Adelaide University Campus, locate the building for Monday’s orientation, and spend the rest of the afternoon in one of the several museums that border the campus. I quickly consulted my map, and once again strode off without it. Haha again, Kim!

This time not even the Lonely Planet could help me.

I found the university all right, and even found the blown-up plexiglassed map detailing the campus. What I did not find was anything that said Gastronomy. Or Le Cordon Bleu. Or culinary or food or nutrition or hospitality or Kristin, the building is here! Hmm, I wondered. I wonder if it’s in the Humanities building…that would make some sense…I found the Humanities building unlocked and inspected the directory. Humanities…ecomonics...linquistics…No gastronomy or le cordon bleu or culinary and let’s just skip to kristinthebuildingishere.

Hmm, I wondered. Maybe if I just wander around the campus, I’ll find someone who looks like they know something about this program…someone in a toque or a bleu blazer with a nice patch or something…

I found the security office and although the woman inside was, in fact, wearing blue, it was the blue of the rent-a-cop, not the bleu of Le Cordon. Fortunately for me, she was the friendliest rent-a-cop in town. “Excuse me,” I said, “Do you know which building the Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy Department is in?” “Well, isn’t it in the medical building” she replied, fortunately not looking at me like I was an idiot. After explaining the nature of the degree, she looked confused. “Well” she said, rather sweetly I might add, “I’ve never heard of anything like that here, and I’ve been here a long time” Just then another security officer walked into the building. “Hey” she said, “Have you ever heard of – what is it”? “Le Cordon Bleu Master’s of Gastronomy program” I said, “Maybe it’s in the humanities building?” The second guard shook his head. “Never heard it,” he said. “I was just over in that building, they’re doing some repairs in there.” The first security guard thought for a moment. “I think you might be at the wrong university. This is Adelaide University, are you sure this is where you’re supposed to be?”

I pondered this concept for a moment. I just got divorced, packed up my life, left my house and all my friends, moved to Australia where I’ve never been before in my life and don’t know a single sole, am living in the most depressing lodging I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, and this woman is suggested that I’m in the wrong place? FUCK! I RESEARCHED this! KIM researched this! I’m even fairly certain that WALTER researched this! I have letters, and emails, and …more letters! I CAN’T be in the wrong place!

“I’m pretty sure it’s here,” I said calmly, thinking that dying in the gutter had actually been put back on my table of life options. “I could tell you where to look it up online, if that would help.”

The security guard broke the sacred oaths of guards across the globe and allowed me to go not just behind her desk but also on her computer. Moments later, there is was, the Le Cordon Bleu Master’s of Gastronomy Program at Adelaide University website.

“Well shit there it is” she proclaimed, “Never heard of it in my whole life.” She took a few moments to search the page, and at last agreed with me that there was no information about orientation or location to be found. She called the contact listed on the page, but it being Sunday only got a machine. “I have no idea where to tell you to go tomorrow.” She murmured, then suddenly perked up. “I know!” she said, “I’ll google the contact name and see if anything pops up!” A few more moments later and she had it – in 2003, the program head, Barbara, had attended the christening of the Le Cordon Bleu’s Master’s of Gastronomy Program’s new facilities on the third floor of the Napier Building, otherwise know as the Humanities Department.

With profuse thanks I left the security office. I’d already been to that building, and knew it was deserted, but I felt fairly certain that if I arrived bright and early in the morning I’d find someone to point me in the general direction of orientation.

The good news: I was in the right place. The bad news: it took so long to find that out that all the museums had already closed.

I ate a cheap dinner at Adelaide’s Central Rail Station (and Casino), and returned home to the horrible hostel to go to bed.

It was still 113 degrees, and I was still conserving.

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